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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 8:01 pm on October 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    October in Miami: A Lawyer’s Perspective 

    Here is the view from the office of this Miami immigration lawyer and Miami  discrimination lawyer, today. Our staff is diligently working on our clients’ immigration and discrimination cases from our Florida headquarters in South Beach.

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    While I will be back in our Houston office tomorrow, I personally prefer the view from our South Beach office. Today, I was working on a couple of our local discrimination cases against Kohl’s Department Store and against Checker’s. We are representing clients before the Miami EEOC in discrimination cases against those two companies. Also, we are working on preparing Summons documents after suing Johnson and Wales University in Miami for allegedly discriminating against our client, a Native American at that school. And, finally, we are working on a lawsuit against the Oppenheimer & Co. for religious discrimination where our Jewish client was allegedly taunted with bagel jokes and other derogatory religious comments before they fired him.

    On the immigration side of our practice, I was so pleased to see the approval of our horse trainer client’s case today. We have been working on that case for ten years and it finally got approved. In these times of America First, it is not easy to be getting foreign worker applications approved. However, in this case of the horse trainer from Mexico, we tested the labor market and were able to prove that there were no available USA workers for the job.

    For further information, I can be reached at 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800, or via email at bruce.coane@gmail.com

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    • Anonymous 3:17 pm on October 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You are the best Mr Coane

    • Jenn 7:54 pm on October 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great work, Bruce!

      On Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 3:01 PM, Coane and Associates, PLLC wrote:

      > Coane and Associates,PLLC posted: “Here is the view from the office of > this Miami immigration lawyer and Miami discrimination lawyer, today. Our > staff is diligently working on our clients’ immigration and discrimination > cases from our Florida headquarters in South Beach. While I will” >

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:42 pm on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Immigration Arrests and Raids and Employment Law Update 

    Here is a video of a speech that I gave a few months ago to an overflow crowd in Houston. I was talking about my predictions for immigration raids of churches, hospitals, synagogues, mosques and other places where immigration officials historically would not visit.

    While the video is several months old, some of my predictions are already coming to fruition, where spouses of Americans with no criminal record are being arrested and deported and where according to some of my clients, immigration officials are “rounding-up” foreigners in some of the smaller, more rural areas. With my 30+ years of experience in immigration law, I am uniquely situated to advise individuals, companies and non-federal government agencies on how our laws work and exactly what is going on right now. I have been staying very busy, lately, doing just that.

    In other matters at our office the past couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to visit with clients from some of the smaller countries of Africa, such as Equatorial Guinea, Burkina Faso (formerly known as Upper Volta) and Angola. In addition to providing legal advice to these clients, this Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer always finds it interesting to talk to them about their culture, language, and other aspects of their country.

    On the employment law and employment discrimination law front, I am currently in Phoenix, Arizona for two days of depositions. My client sued Dignity Health in Phoenix, alleging he was fired due to sex discrimination and retaliation. The essence of his allegations are that his boss was sleeping with his co-worker, that Dignity knew about it and allowed it to continue, and when there was a lack of funding, his supervisor chose to keep his female co-worker (the one sleeping with the boss) , rather than my client. In addition to the two days of depositions, I have been enjoying the regional food, the dry heat and 100+degree temperatures, and the sight of all the exotic desert flowers and cactus plants.

    Lastly, it has been a busy month for court hearings on our employment discrimination cases. We went to court twice this month in our client’s case against Wells Fargo, where our client claimed race discrimination, and the bank sued her back for alleging stealing money from the vault. We also had a court hearing in our client’s case against Hobby Lobby, where he alleges he was fired in retaliation for complaining about sex discrimination.

    For further information, I may be reached in Houston at 713.850.0066 or in our Miami office at 305.538.6800. I can also be reached at bruce.coane@gmail.com.

     
    • Helen Surovek 6:18 pm on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      LOVE the great work you do, Bruce. Had I had the privilege of higher education, I would have been doing something similar…helping those in need of help. With the know-how to
      maneuver through the maze of our wonderful legal system. Keep up the good work~!

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 4:37 pm on October 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Fighting Unemployment can Backfire on Employer 

    In a recent case from Pennsylvania involving a retaliation claim under Title VII involving an employer who opposed a former employee’s claim for unemployment compensation who had also filed a charge of discrimination, the court found that the employer could be liable.

    Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, an employer engages in unlawful retaliation when, in response to an employee complaint of discrimination, it acts in a way that may dissuade a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.  A federal district court in Pennsylvania held that an employer’s request that its agent contest the employee’s claim for unemployment compensation and state that the employee was “discharged for gross negligence causing a financial loss to the employer,” amounted to retaliation under Title VII.  The employee claimed that this appeal prevented her from continuing to receive unemployment compensation benefits and made it impossible to find new employment.

    The employer argued that there was no adverse employment action in contesting the employee’s unemployment benefits claim because it occurred after her employment had already ended.  Even though the employer cited previous case law where a court found no adverse employment action because contesting unemployment came after employment ended (the case involved the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and not Title VII), it noted that in this case the employee was already collecting benefits then lost them, suffering economic harm and damaged her chances of procuring future employment.

    For whatever reason, it seems that employers are contesting unemployment more often these days. However, as this case points out, there can be some risk for an employer who does so, thereby exposing themselves to liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (a federal law that applies to employers with 15 or more employees).

    The case is STEZZI v. CITIZENS BANK OF PENNSYLVANIA, Dist. Court, ED Pennsylvania 2012, Case No. Civil Action No. 10-4333.

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    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law and immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
    • Anonymous 4:09 am on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The tykkkuuuuuyyyyyyhhuuuhhhu

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 4:25 am on October 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Shintech   

    Shintech Faces EEOC Race Discrimination Charge 

    Our law firm filed a race discrimination charge against Shintech, of Freeport, Texas, on behalf of a Hispanic worker who was recently fired.

    Shintech logo

    photo: wbrz.com

    The charge is currently under investigation at the EEOC. It alleges that our client was fired, after 13 years of employment, with no warning and with no valid cause, other than he was non-white.

    It is alleged that our client and another non-white worker were both fired by the company, solely because of their race, and over a minor incident. The charge alleges that white workers who violated company rules and engaged in serious infractions were not fired, yet our client and another man were fired for a far less serious matter. The EEOC will conduct their investigation where they will determine if there is sufficient cause to support the charge of race discrimination.

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    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law and immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 6:09 am on September 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AT&T, ,   

    Court Quashes Subpoena for Text Messages 

    In a sign of how technology is being used in the courtroom, a federal judge had to quash a subpoena last week for text messages of our client.

    In this case, our client filed a lawsuit for overtime pay against his former employer, Liberty Power Corporation. The lawsuit alleges that he worked overtime and the company failed to pay him for it. The company issued a subpoena to AT & T to get a copy of all of our client’s cell phone text messages. They argued that maybe our client was on his cell phone and not really doing the company’s work after hours. We told the judge that the company was just trying to harass our client with the subpoena and there was absolutely no reason why they should need to see text messages.

    The judge agreed with us and quashed the part of the subpoena that would allow company lawyers to read my client’s text messages.

    This is just an example of how new technology can allow parties in a lawsuit to invade a person’s privacy. Had we not jumped-in and complained to the judge, the former employer would have been reading all of our client’s personal text messages.

     

     

     

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    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law and immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 1:25 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , hair sample drug test   

    Hair Sample Drug Tests Lead to Job Termination 

    The latest rage in employment drug testing seems to be the hair sample drug test. I am seeing multiple cases every week for the past 3 months, concerning workers being fired for failing a hair sample drug test.

    photo: Bettor.com

    While I don’t claim to know any of the science behind it, I will say it’s a huge problem for workers subject to random drug testing or pre-employment screening. Many times, a job offer letter requires a pre-employment drug screen within 24-48 hours of receipt of the job offer letter.

    Few states, if any, have any laws protecting worker rights when it comes to drug screens. And, as usual, the only rights that non-union employees typically have, are rights concerning a work environment free of discrimination based on age, race, sex, national origin, religion or medical condition. If a worker cannot argue discrimination in the drug screen, then, they often have no case or legal claim against the employer..

    Our law firm represents workers in failed drug screen cases, but it is often an uphill, but not always impossible, battle.

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    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law and immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 4:42 am on July 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mondrian Hotel, unemployment case   

    South Beach Maid Wins Unemployment 

    In a hotly contested unemployment case, our client won her unemployment against the Mondrian Hotel in South Beach.

    Our client was fired for allegedly stealing $20 from a guest room. She worked as a maid and said she thought the $20 was a tip. There was also a wallet in the room and she never touched it.

    Her actions were all on videotape because it was a “sting” operation at the hotel, due to other guests complaining of items that disappeared, according to the testimony of the hotel employees. Our client, however, honestly believed the $20, laying on the dresser, was a tip. She testified that many guests left her cash tips. And, when hotel security first confronted her, she admitted to taking the $20.

    Her unwavering story and honest belief that it was a tip, was enough to win her unemployment hearing. Generally, if there is good cause to fire an employee, they will not receive unemployment. In this case, Attorney Lauren Schlossberg of our Miami Beach office, argued that there was no good cause to fire our client, and the judge agreed.

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    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law and immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:36 am on June 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arbitration, , , Halliburton, mediation   

    Mediation of Employment Terminations at Halliburton and KBR 

    Our law firm, Coane and Associates, just finished a mediation with Halliburton on behalf of one of our clients. They fired our client for supposedly refusing to shave his goatee. The company has a “no facial-hair” policy, due to the occasional need to wear a chemical protection mask.

    Halliburton and KBR both have a system that requires their fired employees to complain about “wrongful discharge” through a mediation and arbitration process. Even claims of discrimination must go through that process and the courts have enforced it.

    Our law firm has represented numerous Halliburton and KBR employees in the mediation and arbitration process, no matter where they are located in the U.S. or around the world. Both companies are based in Houston, and our Houston office is located not very far from their headquarters.

    One unique aspect of their program is that they pay the first $2500 of our client’s attorney’s fees, thereby making it very easy for clients to retain our services.

    With regard to our client with the goatee, his case was not resolved in mediation and therefore will be headed to arbitration. Arbitration is like a trial, except instead of a judge, there is an arbitrator who listens to the witnesses and considers all of the evidence. And, like a judge, an arbitrator can order reinstatement with back pay, as well as other damages allowed by law or equity.

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    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law and immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:43 am on May 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Angella Ayissi, , , , ,   

    Kroger Loses Motion to Dismiss Race Discrimination and Sex Harassment Lawsuit 

    In an Order released today by the U.S.District Court in Houston, The Kroger Company lost its motion for summary judgment on a race discrimination and sex harassment case.

    © AP Photo/David Koh

    The case was brought by Angella Ayissi, a long-time cashier who works at Kroger. The papers on file in her case state that Kroger management allowed an employee at their Sugar Land, Texas store to constantly say the word, “nigger” and other racially and sexually hostile words. She states that this went on for years before Kroger ever took any action.

    Lawyers for Kroger tried to get the case dismissed, but on May 29, 2012, Judge Nancy Atlas denied their motion, except for a retaliation claim, and ordered that the case proceed to jury trial at the end of July.

    Our law firm has been representing Ms. Ayissi from the outset, and we were very pleased with the judge’s 17 page Order allowing this case to be decided by the jury. Many times the judges dismiss these cases, but in this case, the judge found that Ms. Ayissi raised genuine issues of material fact and that Kroger would have to stand trial.

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    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 6:56 pm on May 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: employer background check, ,   

    Employer Background Checks – Video by Attorney Bruce Coane 

    In this video, Attorney Bruce Coane speaks about criminal background checks that are done by employers when individuals apply for jobs. These individuals often question if they have a case when they are not hired or when they are fired because of an arrest history. Unfortunately, most states, including Texas, have no state law about criminal background checks in employment, so most of the time, they will not.

    However, this year, the EEOC came out with guidance about these checks, and how the criminal justice system affects Hispanics and blacks, in particular. As a result, it is quite possible to bring claims to court for race discrimination after a criminal background check has been conducted. Although the EEOC guidelines only references these specific races, it could apply to anybody, as the EEOC investigates complaints of discrimination based on age, race, sex, national origin, religion and disability.

    To see the EEOC Enforcement Guidance, click the link below.

    http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm

     
    • Hattie Cooper 9:14 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Employer background checks are a pain, though I think at the same time, if a background check can be done at all, why can’t it be done by an employer, who’s trying to decide whether to trust a stranger with responsibilities, property and money? Think of how differently Pride and prejudice would have gone if the Bennetts had done a background check on Mr. Wickham! (It would have gone better, is what I mean.

      • bruce.coane@gmail.com 9:47 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I agree that there is a place for background checks. Unfortunately, many big employers have a zero tolerance policy, meaning, any record whatsoever is an automatic job rejection no matter how minor or irrelevant.
        Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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